Tortoreto is a coastal town and comune of the province of Teramo in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The name is due to the large presence of turtle doves (tortore) during the Middle Ages. It has two distinct parts. The old town is on a hill not far from the Adriatic and the new part, usually referred to as Tortoreto Lido, is seaside and located on SS 16. It can be reached by direct rail service or by flying to the Pescara airport and then traveling 45 kilometres (28 mi) north. The comune of Alba Adriatica was created in 1956 by splitting it off from Tortoreto. Tourism, cuisine and fishing During summer season the main economic activity is tourism. Among its many historical buildings, one of the most visited attractions is the Di Gennaro mansion, famous for hosting one of the most characteristic botanical gardens in Abruzzo. Its geographic position, climate, facilities and environmental projects, have all been planned or used to further tourism. Tortoreto has been awarded the European Blue Flag in 1992 and, then, from 1998 until 2014. The area around Tortoreto, Teramo Province, is famous for rosticini ("rustelle" or "arrustelle" in the local dialects) and chitarra e pallottini. Rosticini are made from small pieces of skewered castrated sheep's meat (mutton). It is cooked on a rectangular charcoal grill, called "canala" because its shape is similar to a canal or channel. Arrosticini, a similar kebob, may be made from any mixture of meats. Traditional chitarra is a hand cut pasta made by rolling the pasta flat and thin and then using a device that resembles a guitar, hence the name, to cut the pasta. The noodles are much like flat spaghetti. The "Chitarra con le Pallottini" is chitarra served with a tomato sauce with very small meatballs. Chitarra e pallottini has been recently object of a dispute between Piedmont and Abruzzo. While Piedmont claims the paternity of the dish as an early 20th-century one, third party studies determined that people from Abruzzo were using small meatballs in the early 18th century. However, a recent study conducted by Gian Maria Pautasso, Italian expert in gastronomic archaeology, has identified evidence of the Northern paternity of this dish in a very ancient culinary book produced in 1344 by a monk from the Abbazia of San Colombano di Bobbio located in the South of Piedmont. Pautasso explains in a recent book that, "At that time, there were no tomatoes in Europe but, as they were doing in the "brodera" (typical dish made of rice and pork's blood) they used to mix the meatballs with pork's blood." Fishing was a common activity in Tortoreto before tourism and it continues on a smaller scale to the present. Another common activity was farming with the area producing substantial amounts of olive oil and wheat. International relations Tortoreto is twinned with: Habay, Belgium External links Comune di Tortoreto (Italian), the official website of the municipality of Tortoreto.